New figures show that debit and credit card fraud losses rose by 9% to reach €24.1m last year with over 275,000 fraudulent debit and credit card transactions.
The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland figures show that 96% of the losses was accounted for by online card fraud which rose by 21% to €23.1m.
With shopping for Black Friday deals and the pre-Christmas rush already well underway, FraudSMART – BPFI’s fraud awareness initiative – is warning consumers to be extra vigilant to prevent themselves falling victim to fraud while shopping online.
BPFI said its tips for shopping safely online include using secure websites. It said that website address should start with “https”, which indicates a secure connection.
It also said that consumers should use sites where a padlock symbol is shown beside the website address.
Consumers are warned not to use public Wi-Fi when making payments and BPFI said that people should switch to 3G/4G on their phones if necessary.
Consumers are also advised to independently visit the website of the online sales company as opposed to clicking on social media or pop-up adverts.
BPFI also warned consumers to be cautious about claiming outrageous offers – if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, it added.
Consumers are urged to stick to well-known websites or websites they are familiar with or websites associated with high street retail outlets.
Gillian Byrne, Head of Payments at BPFI, said that with more people shopping online then ever before due to the ongoing pandemic, the latest card fraud figures are a stark reminder that consumers need to be on high alert during what is the busiest online shopping periods of the year.
She said that concerns around rising Covid figures are drawing ever more consumers online and fraudsters are again stepping up their efforts to take advantage of this increase in online shopping.
“The banking industry is working hard to protect customers through better detection and fraud monitoring systems which are in place, however, we must all must remain vigilant against scams,” Ms Byrne said.
“With a jump of 21% in online card fraud losses in 2020 and over 275,000 fraudulent debit and credit card transactions we are calling on all consumer to pause for thought before parting with their money or information and familiarise themselves with some the very straight forward steps they can take to protect themselves from falling victim,” she added.